The good news about this month’s Direct Action white paper is that much of the infrastructure required to deliver and measure the effectiveness of this policy is already in place, thanks to initiatives such as TERN.
The white paper reaffirms the government’s position on climate change and its emissions targets: ‘The Australian Government accepts the science of climate change and is firmly committed to reducing Australia’s emissions to meet its target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.’
TERN’s existing collaborative infrastructure will inform three key emission reduction activities targeted by the ERF:
- reforesting and revegetating marginal lands;
- improving Australia’s agricultural soils; and
- managing fires in savanna grasslands.
TERN is well-positioned to efficiently enable Direct Action. In addition to our OzFlux facility, which continuously measures the exchanges (flux) of CO2, water and energy between the ground and the atmosphere, the following projects are already delivering information about:
- working with landholders to monitor and protect vegetation and soils in Australia’s arid ecosystems;
- improving the success of investment through better soil information;
- facilitating large scale savanna burning projects to save carbon emissions;
- collaboration to model savanna change in the Northern Territory;
- investigating the effects of management-imposed fire regimes on the plants and animals of our northern savannas; and
- working to further understand the relationships between cyclone disturbances and greenhouse gas emissions in Australia’s savanna grasslands.
There is great potential for TERN, via its infrastructure and collaborative research networks, to play a pivotal role in the ERF by helping to resolve any uncertainties, guiding implementation and assisting with land-based carbon storage monitoring.
Published in TERN newsletter April 2014